AC Joint Injuries

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Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries

Anatomy of the Sternoclavicular Joint

The sternoclavicular joint is the joint between the breastbone (sternum) and the collar bone (clavicle).

Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries

Injuries to this joint are termed as sternoclavicular joint injuries and can include stretching or tearing of the ligament. It is usually caused due to severe trauma or a direct blow to the side of your body such as in motor vehicle accidents or contact sports.

Symptoms of Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries

The symptoms of sternoclavicular joint injuries include:

  • Severe pain at the site of the injury
  • Displacement of the clavicle which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • Crackling noise from the joint
  • Instability in the joint

Diagnosis of Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries

Medical history, physical examination and analyzing your symptoms are sufficient to diagnose the condition. However, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries

Treatment for sternoclavicular joint injuries may be surgical or non-surgical. Non-surgical treatment includes ice packs, pain and anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization of your shoulder. Surgical treatment is performed only if the injury causes respiratory problems or if you develop post-traumatic arthritis pain in the shoulder.

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Website
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America Website
  • American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons Website
  • Charleston RiverDogs Website
  • The American Orthopedic Association